How Credit-Card Data Went Out Wireless Door
WSJ ^ | 4 May 2007 | Joseph Pereira
Posted on 05/04/2007 8:56:08 AM PDT by APRPEH
The biggest known theft of credit-card numbers in history began two summers ago outside a Marshalls discount clothing store near St. Paul, Minn.
There, investigators now believe, hackers pointed a telescope-shaped antenna toward the store and used a laptop computer to decode data streaming through the air between hand-held price-checking devices, cash registers and the store's computers. That helped them hack into the central database of Marshalls' parent, TJX Cos. in Framingham, Mass. to repeatedly purloin information about customers.
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The ease and scale of the fraud expose how poorly some companies are protecting their customers' data on wireless networks, which transmit data by radio waves that are readily intercepted. The incident also has renewed debate about who should be financially responsible. Banks that issue credit and debit cards so far have borne the brunt of the TJX losses, as opposed to the retailer or the credit-card networks such as Visa or MasterCard. Banks' lobbyists and some legislators have started pushing for laws to make the party that lets the data slip responsible for the costs.
1 posted on 05/04/2007 8:56:11 AM PDT by APRPEH